Obstacle racing presented a new chapter in my life. The first obstacle race was like eating dirt – that’s all I ate for the first 30 minutes of the race. I felt less excited than I thought I would. I’d been training for a month thinking about this moment, just a month. Go inside my head, and you could hear my thoughts screaming:
“fu$#%#%^^$$$…I’m going to die.”
I was lying when I yelled to one of our team members and said, “I got this.”
“You got this,” she shouted, “let’s run!”
And then it starts again…
“fu$%$$%%((((((&&***…I’m going to die.”
“Okay,” I said. “Game on,” though in truth my rhythm was off – I was suffocating, now panting, and all I could hear were sirens. My feet hurt like hell, like I was running in hell, like running on broken glass, and then coral.
In my 20 plus years of counseling addicts, we often referred to faulty thinking as cognitive distortions-thinking errors-which are inaccurate thoughts, which fuel then drive our emotions, behavior, and consequences. These inaccurate thoughts are usually responsible for negative thinking and emotions. I was there in my thoughts, intermittently, and I needed to “flip that script” or else…I knew what was coming next.
When I first started HiroBuilt I would wake up thinking, “…if my damn boss didn’t blow it, I would still have a secured job.” Then I would add, “now everyone will think I’m a loser.” In Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, the first part of my thinking is referred to as “blaming” – blaming other people for my situation or condition. The second part of this statement is an example of overgeneralization – taking a failure at one event and generalizing the situation to myself and my entire identity.
What I needed to do quickly was change my “stinkin’ thinkin.” When I finally challenged my thinking – screamed at it, yelled at it, negotiated with it, and refuted it – my breathing improved and the old thinking was replaced with more rational thoughts.
I started to run again.